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Patagonykus puertai (Novas, 1996)

Name Means: Patagonian Claw Length: 6.5 feet, 2 meters
Pronounced: pat-ah-GONE-eh-kus Weight: unknown
When it lived: Late Cretaceous - 90 MYA    
Where found: Argentina    
   Patagonykus was a theropod with feathers, it fed on insects. It was a lightly-built meat-eater with long legs, a long tail, and short arms. It had a single, clawed finger on each hand.  It is known from a fragmentary but undistorted skeleton consisting of vertebrae, coracoids, a forelimb, partial hips (weakly opisthopubic pointing backwards, like in dromaeosaurids and birds) and hindlimbs. No skull was found.
   Discovered by Dr. Fernando Novas in 1996.  Patago refers to the Patagonia area of Argentina where it was found and nykus is Greek for claw, making reference to the only claw that it has in the finger and puertai was given in honor to the technician Pablo Door .
   Patagonykus was either a bird-like dinosaur (an advanced theropod) or a primitive bird; it possessed qualities of both groups of animals, and there is much scientific debate over which it is. Patagonykus was similar to Mononykus. Both are currently placed in the family Alvarezsauridae as metornithine birds. Not everyone agrees with this classification, with some believing that these are both non-avian theropods. However, all the alvarezsaurids have a highly mobile tail in contrast to most non-avian theropods.  This animal is apparently transitional between Alvarezsaurus and the rest of Mononykinae. 
 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  


 

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